ONLINE CHURCH: News and prayer requests

(Please use the 'Contact us' page to submit your news and share requests for prayer. Put your news or request in the 'address' space, or just say 'please email' and give your email address)


  • If you're looking for prayers to say just at this moment in your life, try this link.


  • Another site, if you're thinking about praying and could do with some ideas and help, is called 'Hope Spaces' - click here to go to it


  • And if you want to remember someone of whom you've been bereaved, you might find it helpful to light a 'virtual' candle for them. If so, click here.


Hi all, Very good wishes to everyone at St John's as you start back at church today. Lovely to be worshipping together again. Sorry I cannot join you, as Bry is still shielding and will be for a while. We have our own communion at home each Sunday and remember you all in our prayers. Bry has completed his treatments now, but is still suffering with the after-effects of the radiotherapy he had eight weeks ago, but, God willing, these will resolve soon. Thank you all again for lovely messages of encouragement and prayers. We do indeed have a mighty and loving God who will be alongside us in good and bad days, and we have certainly felt the power and help of our loving Father at times when we have been anxious and scared. We still feel we are being carried along on a wave of love, which comes from the Almighty and you - so big 'virtual hugs' to you all. May the Lord continue to bless us all as the days go on. Take care and best wishes. Rose (and Bryan) Corke, 2nd August 2020 


Manchester City Mission ask for prayer about their Narrowgate emergency night shelter for homeless people in Salford. It had to close during lockdown (though the Narrowgate team carried on supporting people included in the Government's scheme to get rough sleepers off the streets), and they were hoping to re-open, with social distancing, now that the 'Everybody In' programme has ended. This has not been possible, and some staff have had to be laid off until the future of night shelters of this kind becomes clear.  28th July 2020


I loved the Psalm 84 song 'My God and King'. It would be great if the music group could sing this. I’m looking forward to next Sunday, when we are back together at St John’s, albeit in very different conditions. I pray and look forward, even more, to the day when the whole family of St John’s are back under one roof.  Margaret Johnston, 26th July 2020


There is to be a 'bye election' for a local representative on the Church of England General Synod, to fill a vacancy until the next 'general election' in 2021. Anyone on our church electoral roll is eligible to stand. If anyone is interested, I can give them more information.  Carol Cosham, 23rd July 2020


Please pray for our neighbour, Eileen, who has just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.  Margaret Johnston, 5th July 2020


My Bible reading for yesterday (chosen by Bishop David of Manchester months ago, as it happens: he wrote the notes) was from Jeremiah 29. It's about being in exile, which is how many of us feel now. We're told to get on with our lives as far as we can, and not to cut ourselves off from the rest of society but to seek its good. And remember the promise at the end ('I know the plans I have for you, not for evil but for good ...' etc.) was for something that was only going to happen in 70 years' time! So we need to hang on in there.  Robert Beale, 1st July 2020 


My imagination staggers both at the vastness and the minuteness of God's work. The beauty and the infinite variety of nature show him to us as the superlative Artist and Craftsman. 'O Lord my God, Thou art very great. Thou art clothed with honour and majesty.' (Ps 83). Thus all creation radiates, in its own fulness of life and living and moving in him (Acts 17:28), his uncreated glory. The whole cosmos is a great symphony of indescribable beauty and eternal harmony, a mighty organism of the most differing worlds, bound together in all its parts in a ceaseless song of praise: 'For of Him and through him are all things: to him be the glory forever.' (Romans 11:36)  Gloria Brooks, 10th June 2020


Hello again everyone - hope you’re all keeping safe and well. I thought I would share with you another Netflix series (10 episodes) which I’ve been watching and which I found both really interesting and very educational. It’s called 'AD: Empire and Kingdom' and centres on the period immediately after Jesus’s crucifixion and the way the disciples disseminated Christ’s message. The underlying theme is the severe conflict and fractious relationship between the Roman and Jewish authorities, and the tensions caused by the disciples who (it suggests) were seen as a cult harbouring Jews in the desert. It brought home to me the hatred, fear and mistrust which existed during those times, but also gave an insight into what the disciples endured in order to preach the message. I hope you are both stimulated and moved by it.  Carol Hatton, 9th June 2020


My house move went really well today, praise God, and I am now sitting surrounded by boxes in my new home.  Carol Cosham, 8th June 2020


Please remember the leaders, parents and children of our Pre-School as they resume activity, to some extent, on Monday. Pray for safety and good sense among all involved. Robert Beale, 6th June 2020


Hi everyoneI felt moved and inspired by Archdeacon Karen’s message and agree with every word. I thought her comments were extremely relevant to the Covid crisis in particular, and the way society is being affected by it. We all know that loneliness can lead to depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, and being out of normal contact with people is making many feel worse.

One of my antidotes is to play old CDs and classical music, look at past holiday photos, knit, go for lovely walks round the area, and watch (mostly!) educational films. In the past I have longed for more time to just sit and do nothing and now we have it in abundance. Be careful what you wish for, as they say!  Phones and screens are no substitute for proper human banter and laughs, and I really miss the warm welcome and fellowship which St John’s offers. 

I particularly love the way Archdeacon Karen links today’s Covid crisis back to biblical times and the Holy Spirit, in the same way that the 'Jesus-Shaped People' course did. That course really helped me to see the relevance of the Bible in my everyday life, which is something I think we really need to build on, so people in today’s society can see how God is moving in their lives. I do hope you are all finding peace and relaxation during these difficult times and look forward to seeing you again all soon.  Carol Hatton, 31st May 2020


In the service this morning on BBC 1 some words leapt out and got me thinking. The reader quoted Corrie Ten Boom, who asked: 'Are your prayers your steering wheel, or your spare tyre?' Interesting question and worth thinking about.  Ellen Allanson, 24th May 2020


Hi everyone – hope you are all doing OK. I want to share some information about a YouTube video which Gloria (Brooks) recommended to me recently. It’s called 'The Chosen' and comprises eight episodes telling the story of Jesus’s everyday life prior to his crucifixion. It tells of his teaching and healing work and demonstrates some of the miracles he performed. It shows what life was like for Jewish people under Roman oppression and tells how the Jews were expecting deliverance from this by Jesus who was there for spiritual enlightenment rather than anything else. 

I think it gives a good visual representation of life in Jesus’s time under the Romans. It also highlights Jesus’s tremendous relationship with his disciples and, for me, shows how Jesus accepts people from all walks of life, no matter what they’ve done. I have found that the film has helped me to put faces to names and has made me appreciate the personalities of Jesus and his disciples.

One of the main features of the film for me was showing how God is letting the existing Covid crisis strengthen us, and society in general, in so many ways. People then, as now, were looking to God for sustenance and comfort. They are becoming much more aware of how finite and delicate everyday life is, and there seems to be so much more desire to change, and community spirit, at the moment – long may it last! Maybe we will appreciate even more what we have in our lives and never take anything for granted ever again. Hope to see you all soon but, in the meantime, stay safe and well.  Carol Hatton, 18th May 2020


I've been getting a lot from the Bible Project's 'Church at Home' emails that come every Saturday (see 'Links to look at' for how to get these). Last week's theme of 'exile' and today's of 'hope' have been really spot-on for the times we're living in - particularly, in today's, to see the way that in the Bible the ideas of 'hope', 'wait' and 'rest' (in God) are all related. It's good stuff. (If you missed these, go to the Bible Project website and find 'Exile' under Biblical Themes, and 'Hope' under Word Studies).  Robert Beale, 16th May 2020



I wanted to share a memory that came to me this morning … At one service years ago we were asked to write our names on narrow pieces of paper and then, while we all sang 'Bind us together, Lord', we all made the pieces of paper into one large paper chain. The idea was to put it in the safe and take it out in 10 years or so later to show that we are one in God's love. I don't know if that paper chain still exists, but I do know that we are still bound together in that love. We are the family of God. Ellen Allanson, 5th May 2020


It’s such a blessing to sit and take part in the service today and feel part of St John's Flixton too. With all my love and best wishes to folk at St. John’s - Rev Peter Thorn, 3rd May 2020


Did anyone else appreciate the Church of England 9am service, with the Rev Paul Gooder, today, as we did? Just loved her story of the Bedouin shepherd boys calling their sheep in the mornings, and each sheep knowing its shepherd's voice. Robert and Pat Beale, 3rd May 2020


Julie and I would value your prayers as we continue to work with many individuals and families within the community. We hope you are all keeping safe and encouraged, and let’s not forget those unable to get online. For your encouragement, my WordPress site may offer you words of comfort and hope: click hereGraham Smallman, 30th April 2020


Bryan's chemotherapy has been really beneficial, and our consultant is very pleased. The bladder tumour has shrunk and he is now ready to have 20 sessions of radium. God has been very gracious to us, and while he still has cancer, we are now on the right road. So we're praising our Lord Jesus Christ for healing so far and for the prayers of all our wonderful Christian brothers and sisters being answered to this point. Thank you so much everyone, for good wishes and prayers, and thank you God, for healing and comfort so far. Praise the Lord!  Rose Corke, 20th April 2020


I’ve written a ‘dodgy’ Easter poem, which others might like to see [click here to download it]. Michelle Byrne, 15th April 2020


I found 'An Act of Spiritual Communion' really helpful today. Give it a go, if you haven't already. Robert Beale, Easter Sunday 2020.


The Lord is risen. Hallelujah! Love to all my brothers and  sisters at St John’s. Please pray for the staff and residents of De Brook Lodge. Sue Thatcher, Easter Sunday 2020


Please pray for my friends Paul and Matthew (18-year-old son). They are the relatives of my friend of over 20 years, Shelley, who died of coronavirus today. Shelley was only 47 years of age (although she did have severe asthma). She died with just medical professionals in ICU by her side. The family have attended St John's on a number of occasions. Michelle Byrne, 9th April 2020


Thank you for Messy Church Online - I've shared it with my Brownie group and will be joining in with my kiddos. Vanessa Nolan, 7th April 2020


I really enjoyed the Lent course. It’s really meaty and needs a second watch and listen. Sue Thatcher, 6th April 2020


I am amazed that in these strange times I feel very close to God and my brothers and sisters at St John's, even though we are physically apart. God bless you all. Aileen Haywood, 2nd April 2020


My brother, the Rev Robert Thewsey, who is a Church of England rector in Oxfordshire, is sharing daily services from his own home on YouTube. If anyone would like to follow them, here is the link to find the files:   Angela Easdon, 1st April 2020


The virus has reached Uganda and their lockdown is even tighter than ours: schools and churches have been closed for over a week, and now no private or public transport of people is allowed (only deliveries), with a curfew every evening. Please remember Sarah and Ricky Dodzweit, with Benji and Aliyah, who are OK but in pretty well total isolation. Robert Beale, 31st March 2020


Can we pray for all the front-line NHS workers who are doing so much to protect us? Also for all those public service workers, lorry drivers, carers, shop workers, etc., who are doing a sterling job to keep us safe and maintain normal life as far as possible. In addition, I've been looking at Facebook and seeing the hundreds of random acts of kindness from strangers which have been carried out for the most vulnerable people in our society. This is certainly the values of Christianity put into action. It makes me proud to be part of this great community.  Carol Hatton, 28th March 2020


Please could we pray for my friend Cath's husband, who is in Salford Royal with suspected coronavirus. Cath and her son have mild symptoms and are self-isolating at home. Please could we pray for healing, strength and comfort for them all? They worship at St Monica’s and would really welcome your prayers. Angela Easdon, 27th March 2020


We're asked to pray for the family of Maureen, a lady who was a regular member of Trafford Heart and Stroke Club until recently, and who has now died. Carol Cosham, 25th March 2020


I am self-isolating at the moment as I have a couple of symptoms. God has blessed us with beautiful weather, showing nature in all its wonderful glory. We just have to put this virus in God's hands and keep washing ours. Love and blessings to all my church family. Margaret Johnston, 23rd March 2020 


Missing our weekly church service today and seeing the joy and happiness on all our congregants' faces. You are a wonderful, caring, funny and delightful group of people and a wonderful part of the Flixton community. Just wanted to share because I'm missing you all. Carol Hatton, 22nd March 2020


We joined in one of the morning services streamed on YouTube today, and also the new Morning Worship at 11.45am on BBC1 TV. It's great to be part of a virtual congregation! Robert and Pat, 22nd March 2020


When I wash my hands I say the Lord’s Prayer. It’s amazing how many times a day I do this! It’s a reminder to us all that God’s will, will be done on the earth, and He will work His purposes out. Love and blessings to you all this Mothering Sunday. Gill Hampson, 22nd March 2020


Bill and I are in a two-week isolation, as Bill felt unwell on Thursday. He is feeling fine now, but as a precaution we have been told to self-isolate. So for now we are getting out and working in the garden. I would suggest for anyone that is self-isolating, if possible just wrap up and sit quietly and take in God's beauty. The bird song is just amazing - the spring flowers are beautiful … (that's if the squirrels don't get there first, as I found this morning: tulip head on the path!). But just being able to stop, look and listen to God's creation is a true blessing.

My daughter, who is 27, has decided to aim to do the splits - so there is a challenge for anyone feeling fit!‚Äč

God bless. Linda Coleman, 21st March 2020

Please let me know if there is anyone who needs help or a daily phone call: I am happy to help. I also wondered if it would be good to share what God is doing in our lives in this difficult time, sharing what He is putting on our hearts. For me it has been to contact elderly people that I know, just to chat to them and check they are not in need. I feel unable to be on the front line at present because of my recent health issues and am trying to self-isolate as much as possible until I feel fully fit, so I feel this is the least that I can do. I have been taking Riley for a daily walk on the Davyhulme Millennium Nature Reserve walk, and that is an uplifting thing to do as the daffodils and hawthorn are in full bloom: spring is definitely in the air, reminding us of the hope of new life.  Angela Easdon, 20th March 2020 (


Bryan is doing well so far. He has another three-week cycle of chemotherapy starting next Wednesday, then a scan in mid-April to see what is happening inside (God willing and Coronavirus allowing?). So far he has had few side-effects and I am sure this is due to the prayers of all our lovely friends.

We are so grateful for everyone's prayers and good wishes - we have definitely felt carried along and blanketed in love and grace. Especially as there is so much to pray for at present in the world: we have felt humbled and encouraged.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this is a time to live our faith and really put our trust in Almighty God. He knows our anxieties and frustrations and He will give us the grace we need to get through difficult times. l have found Psalms really helpful, especially Psalm 23 and Psalm 91, reassuring us that the Lord will be our protector.
Love in Christ.   Rose Corke, 20th March 2020